Mark Lanegan and his band are back with a new 10 track album, Gargoyle, which features a host of collaborations from Josh Homme to Duke Garwood, amongst others.
Even for such a prolific artist such as Lanegan this album was recorded and completed in a very short space of time, with the whole record finished in roughly one month. The short process may account from a move away from his slow paced traditional song writing.
The opening two tracks ‘Death’s Head Tattoo’ and ‘Nocturne’ are beautifully dark and sombre in Lanegan trademark style, yet theses tracks both have a swirling synth based style to them that lifts them out of his more traditional acoustic roots. There is an electronic element which allows Lanegan to paint a more sinister mood. This is based around his ability to create soundscapes and further confirm his talents not just as a song writer but also a purveyor of enthralling atmospheric music. Lanegan himself describes the album
“in essence, a more expansive progression from the moody Krautrock-influenced electronica textures of his two previous albums, ‘Blues Funeral’ and ‘Phantom Radio’.”
‘Blue Blue Sea’ marks the collaboration between Mark and Rob Marshall - a combination that sees the pair working on over half of the new material on this album. Although this track contains elements of the opening songs, there is a more of a pensive calmness to ‘Blue Blue Sea’, with Marshall’s influence being felt through the remaining duration of the album. Lanegan talents allow a fluid approach to his craft and he clearly enjoys the input and the process that other artist bring. He openly admits that it’s part of how someone of his age continues to be interested in music.
“When I see things through somebody else’s perspective it’s more exciting than if I’m left to my own devices.”
There are some purely beautiful tracks on the album. ‘Goodbye to Beauty and ‘First Day of Winter’ confirm his ability to portray potent imaginary, conveyed within the structure of his more traditional singer song writing style. The albums ends with on a positive note with the track ‘Old Swan’. Lanegan’s style has never been describes as upbeat yet this track is in his words
“an expression of positivity, which is completely anti-anything I’ve done before!”
As a seasoned performer this album can be seen as a new venture for Lanegan that incorporates aspects of his former sound. On the back of this predicted albums success Lanegan will be touring the UK and for those lucky enough to be at Glastonbury this year he is due to appear on the Friday.